Whether it’s holiday decorations, old furniture, family heirlooms, or other seasonal gear, there’s always a ton of stuff in a house that requires extra storage space. Where do you store those items that are not currently in use? For many houses, the attic is a great place to set up storage space.
If you already store your extra belongings in the attic, you probably know how it can be a place where things just get shoved into with the thought of going through and organizing it later. But when will that later be? Let’s go over how you can start now to get better attic organization for the new year!
Find Someone Willing to Help
Getting things to and from your attic can be a tough chore. If you find a friend or family member who is willing to help you clear out your attic, it will make the initial process so much easier. From moving boxes up and down the ladder to moving the heavy stuff around, having a person there to help you through the task is very important.
Having a helper will also be better for safety reasons. The attic can be an unsafe place to work, and having a second person there will help make sure you are careful on the uneven floors and ladders.
Declutter Your Space
There’s sure to be many items already up in your attic that have seen better days but could still be used by someone else. If something has been sitting in your attic for more than a year, the chances of you actually looking for it and pulling it down to use are very slim.
Go through every box, bag, and tote and really assess everything that's in there. Do you really need it? Have trash bags, boxes for donations, or even a dumpster ready as you start this process. As you look through everything, think about the reasons why you kept a particular item. Is it an emotionally valuable family heirloom? Do you actually want to use it in the future? Then ask yourself why and how it ended up in your attic to begin with, and whether or not it needs to find a new place to stay.
You can find more tips on decluttering from Porta-Stor here!
Categorize What’s Left
Once you’ve gotten the clutter out of your attic and into the dumpster or donation box, it’s time to assess what you have left that you want to keep and store.
There are several ways you can separate what you have left. You can organize by season for holiday decorations and clothing. You can organize by family heirlooms and keepsakes vs. more practical items. Whatever way works best for your belongings is great, as long as there's a method to the madness that fits your needs.
If there are larger pieces, like furniture, and you want to keep them for later use but just don’t have the space, you can always consider renting a portable storage container. This will help free up the attic space for the things you need to keep stored close at hand to access more frequently.
Protect What You Store
It’s time to throw out those old, rotting cardboard boxes and invest in some plastic ones to protect those keepsakes and holiday décor. Using plastic totes keeps valuables safe from water damage and pests. Clear ones allow you to quickly see what’s stored in the bins when you go to look for something later.
Label, Label, Label
Proper labeling is something that often gets overlooked as you go through and organize anything. If you take the time to either color code your storage bins or label the outside by writing out the contents, it will help prevent you from having to do another attic organization again in the future every time you go to look for something.
Labeling your items will also make you less likely to just toss something else into a bin simply to get it out of sight and put up somewhere. If the boxes are labeled, you may be more inclined to place the new item in the correct box.
If you’re storing seasonal clothing up in your attic, consider placing a hanging rod from your rafters. This will allow for the use of more attic space and keep the floor open for the storage of boxes and furniture, while also providing more space to move around in up there. Hanging some seasonal items also keeps them in better condition than folding and stuffing them into a tote.
Should you decide to hang those seasonal clothes, use garment bags with a dryer sheet placed inside to help keep them protected and fresh for when you pull them out next season.
Some attics have enough space for you to add shelves to the walls. Doing this keeps things off of the rafters of your ceilings and puts less weight on them. It also helps with attic organizing. Before you set up the shelving, measure to make sure those new plastic totes can slide right in there with the labels facing out. Adding shelves is another way for you to organize and keep things protected where you can easily get to them.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
If your family helped you declutter and organize, chances are that they now know a bit about how it’s organized. However, if it was just you who took the time to get your attic in order, you may want to have a chat with your family to let them know what you’ve done.
Make sure they know what’s being stored in the attic and where it is. It’s important that the family be on the same page as you with what’s being stored up there and why. If they know where things are stored, they will be more likely to put other belongings where they should go instead of just tossing that winter coat up in a corner when the weather warms up.
Life can get hectic and things can get shoved and tossed wherever there is space in a rush. But if you take the time to create a space for everything and only keep what you need and what’s most important to you, you may find that proper attic organization is a great way to keep everything ready and available when you need it!